Tag Archives: about me

People Watching

People watchingIt took me sometime to point the camera at people.
I had mini moo business cards made just in case I had to justify what I was doing to someone. They have my name, phone number, e-mail and the portfolio website.
One of the reasons is that I live in Paris and I don’t speak French. At least not good enough French to justify to an angry person what am I doing taking their picture without permission.
People watching
The other reason is that I’m horribly self-conscious.
While taking pictures of people I cheat most of the time. In the metro, for instance, I tend to take pictures of people in the next carriage or in the opposite running train. That way I make sure I’m not going to be confronted by a mean little old Parisian lady.
Also, I feel like I gave them life in a way. Not to the people themselves but to the characters that appear frozen in my viewfinder. They didn’t exist in my world nor in yours. Now they do and you see a glimpse of their imaginary lives. In this instance, I prefer to have only a few seconds to take the picture. This photo becomes a picture of a volatile moment captured.

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My Photo Equipment – Part I

Sony Alpha a200I use an old Sony Alpha A200. It’s an entry-level digital SLR and I got it two years ago as a birthday surprise gift from my father.
I was saving to get a Nikon d80, which is also an entry-level camera but after I got the Sony I decided to wait and buy a more professional camera later.

I use the Sony Alpha A200 almost exclusively with a Minolta AF 50 F1.7 vintage SLR lens. It gives me about the same image on the viewfinder as 75mm on a 35mm SLR camera.
I bought this lens on ebay for about €100. I love it because of the shallow depth of field given by the F1.7 setting.

Almost every week I read reviews of medium format cameras, analyze photos made by those cameras, convince myself that it’s probably not the cameras used that are making such photos and read opinions about why I should NOT buy one. Apart from the price tag, I mean.

This is my quest, I guess. Understand how to make the photos I want to make. Learn what is it that makes them special. I know it’s not the camera. At least, not everything is the camera. That is why I use my old Sony Alpha A200 with my second hand scratchy lens. Because I believe that it’s not the camera. It’s about the search, about the knowledge and about the passion. Or else I would just give up.

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